Every business is going to encounter difficult customers but the key to success is knowing how to deal with them.
As a professional, you represent the business you work for, especially when interacting with customers.
Every interaction a customer has with any aspect of a business shapes their impression of that company, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
It is incredibly important to therefore understand the extent to which customer interactions play a role in the success of a business.
As a result, businesses try extremely hard to ensure that their relationships with their customers are rewarding to both parties.
Even so, there are instances where customer interactions can turn sour, and sometimes the factors that lead to that are uncontrollable from the business perspective. For example, if the customer is just being difficult for no apparent reason, the business has no control over the behavior of that customer.
However, the business can control their reaction to that behavior, which is what matters. Customers who think a business is already not addressing their concerns will interpret a bad reaction as a business not caring about them, which will then drive them away. Thus, knowing what to say to whom is a very useful skill for any professional to have.
How to deal with a difficult customer
It is difficult to completely understand a customer’s attitudes and motivations, especially as a professional who deals with a constant stream of them.
However, it can be helpful to know how to frame communications with a broad category of customers, as it gives you something to build off of. Fundera has created an infographic that details 11 types of difficult customers, and it not only describes some of the traits of each type but also provides potential ways to handle them. It is a great starting point to building great relationships with seemingly difficult customers that could give other businesses pause
Just because a customer is difficult to deal with does not mean your business doesn’t need them, and their outward behavior should not stop you from engaging in effective, positive dialogue with them that results in a rewarding business-customer relationship.
This guide provides a good, memorable way to broadly remember how to deal with different customers, and it may even help you get some of your most loyal ones!
Author: Meredith is Editor-in-Chief at Fundera. Specializing in financial advice for small business owners, Meredith is a current and past contributor to Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, SCORE, AllBusiness and more.